Donald Trump is on an absolute tear. Love him or hate him, he’s making an absolute mockery of our political campaign system. But at some point you have to wonder, what more could The Don possibly do to tilt the electoral scale in Hillary Clinton’s favor? If one were to author an ideal liberal strategy, it’s hard to imagine what you could write to make the current situation more favorable for the Democrats. Trump’s current views are simply not aligned with anything close to moderate. His xenophobic rhetoric has become so extreme that he’s forced the party leader to publicly condemn his actions even as the left extends their vocal outrage. Less than hours later, Trump fired right back at the GOP through poll numbers suggesting a favorable third-party run. He’s holding the GOP in a hostage situation they were totally unprepared for.
But at what point do we acknowledge that his actions may be more than remarkably convenient circumstance for Democrats? Are we absolutely certain that Trump’s not doing all of this for the sake of entertainment value? Is he perhaps playing the political version of Joaquin Phoenix’s I’m Still Here? If you were seeking an allegory that you might be more familiar with, I can also direct your attention to his past association with the WWE (including remarks about Rosie O’Donnell).
Our bipartisan political system is now played as a game of chess by those wealthy enough to move the pieces. This is not news. But which team is Donald Trump really playing for?
The Tea & Koch Party
We know about one side because Rupert Murdoch’s been in the limelight for decades. We know about the other players on his team because everyone from Rolling Stone to Bernie Sanders has made sure their names are heard loud and clear: David and Charles Koch. As proprietors of the Tea Party, or what Aaron Sorkin calls “the American Taliban,” the Kochs have hijacked the once honorable Republican Party dressed as a libertarian extension. They are Geppetto to player puppets like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Speaker Paul Ryan. They even have ties to Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Scalia and fund think-tanks that promote the deregulation of government under the guise of “liberty.”
Yet Donald Trump hasn’t been allowed to play with this Party. Much has been made of his exclusion from the Kochs’ semi-annual meetings where ALL of the other GOP candidates have been in attendance (minus the recent exception of Rand Paul…curious). Yet they’ve never considered him a credible candidate because, let’s face it, none of us have. His party loyalty has been suspicious. He went indy from the GOP in 1999 before registering as a Dem in 2001. Yet in September 2009, he re-registered as a Republican with potential ambitions for a 2012 nomination. David Koch was vocally suspicious of the move in May of 2011 saying:
“Donald’s political positions over the last 10 years have been highly variable and unusual. He’s a wonderful guy, but I don’t think he should run for office.” And later, “At some point I think he’s going to drop out of the race when he realizes that he’s really not qualified to be President.”
While Donald had already jumped aboard the Birther Conspiracy Train at this point, The Koch Party had made it clear that they weren’t buying into his shenanigans. So Donald golfed his way back to his tower and waited.
Flash forward to 2015: Since announcing his candidacy, Donald Trump has stolen the GOP stage from the full arsenal of Dave and Chucky’s marionettes. Capitalizing on the party’s reluctance to promote one of their own pawns as a Queen, he has stepped onto the board for himself. Spouting nonsense consistent with his Birther ramblings dating back to 2011, he’s filled his truck with the GOP’s Koch-fattened evangelical livestock and driven them back to his farm. Since Murdoch’s Trump-specific opening question in the first debate, he’s forced the rest to fight for mere scraps of the attention he receives. If he manages to pull the GOP’s nomination, the evangelical right aren’t gonna be enough to win a general election while the lazy liberals are angered-out to the polls.
But Trump and camp has to already know this, right? Certainly. So why would he do knowingly push any resemblance of moderation away from him? There are only two likely reasons:
1) Trump and camp believe that publicity of any kind will produce name-recognition for poll support and, in-turn, primary votes. It seems naive, but it’s also unproven at this scale.
2) The Kochs were right, and Trump doesn’t actually care about the Republican party. He may even be doing all of this in opposition. If this were true, how would he best go about it, and what does he stand to gain?
Trump’s Clinton History
When Donald announced his candidacy by blasting immigration (an early grab for the bible belt), an idea floated around suggesting that Trump may be a Trojan Horse for the Clintons, with whom he has known ties. As his campaign surges forward, this notion deserves further examination.
Though his campaign contributions since 2008 suggest Trump aligns with the right, he was previously known as a bipartisan contributor with liberal tendencies. Following discussion at this year’s first debate regarding the Clintons’ attendance at Trump’s 2005 wedding, a Hillary spokesperson re-stated, “He invited her. They’re acquaintances. This is long, long established.”
So while it’s hard to gauge exactly how close Trump is with the Clintons, we do know that:
- Trump supported Hillary’s prior campaigns (as well as The Clinton Foundation) on multiple occasions both financially as well as vocally.
- Hillary sat front-row when the Clintons attended his 2005 wedding.
- Chelsea and Ivanka are like BFFs (not real evidence, but funny)
(CNN Video interview from 2007)
But the Clintons aren’t the ones seated in opposition to the Kochs at America’s chess game. They, like Trump, are just key pieces.
So who’s wealthy enough to move the chess pieces that oppose the 5th and 6th wealthiest people in America? The common thought would be someone traditionally associated with the lobbying game like George Soros ($24.5bil), but he sits at the kids table compared with the Koch’s $82bil. So perhaps sociopolitical influence can be managed without obvious contribution through monetary lobbying. What else motivates the human condition? When you already have all of the money and power in the world, what do you do with it?
“Philanthropy is the gateway to power. There are few people who get to decide what will happen in our world. You have been invited to join them. Pull back the curtain, and take your seat.” -Bert Cooper, Mad Men.
The Giving Pledge: Trey Gates and The Wizard
To the top of the Forbes list we go! While our elected officials squabble over our progressive condition, Bill & Melinda Gates’ mighty Foundation has been out crusading against inequity. This isn’t some local charity that you throw spare change to. This is a $40bill heavy-hitting organization that crushes poverty and disease with tremendous results. Bill Gates’ legacy as the co-founder of Microsoft will stand meaningless next to his role in disease eradication. But while he may have some ability to influence a general population by non-conventional means, Gates has never really shown comprehensive interest in the political spectrum. So he’d need a partner. Someone with precognition enough to stay far ahead of domestic socioeconomic trends. He’d need The Wizard of Omaha.
Enter Giving Pledge co-founder Warren Buffett, our chief mastermind. Though quiet about it, we know Buffett stands with the left. Population control has always been of significant importance to him while The Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation has long supported women’s reproductive health. He’s also a known opponent of big money lobbying and its ability to prevent a more progressive tax system.
So just how far back do we need to go for Buffett to have recognized that our political system would be undermined?
I think that The Oracle has had his eye on the Kochs for a long time. With the acquisition of Georgia Pacific back in 2005, Koch Industries drew significant attention from the business world by becoming the largest privately-held company in the country. You better believe Buffett took notice, especially considering their notorious political background. We know that the Koch Party’s closed-door summits date back as far as 2005. And, while unlikely receiving an invitation himself, it’s very likely that Buffett had already received word of their Neocon uprising. But he needed a plan alternative to monetary lobbying.
The following June, Warren Buffett made a public spectacle of pledging-away his fortune to The Gates Foundation and his four family foundations. His gift to the Gates Foundation of 10 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock, to be paid in annual installments, was worth approximately $31 billion at the time. But the Kochs either didn’t pick up on the subtlety of Buffett’s message at this point, or simply didn’t care.
In ’08 Buffett (like everyone), thought Hillary would walk with the nomination. They weren’t expecting the youth of American, who’d been dicking around for the prior 10 years, to rally behind Obama. But following the era of Bush, everyone knew the Dems would take Washington regardless on the nominee.
Following the election, Gates and Buffet hosted a series of secret New York meetings starting in May 2009. With the Citizens United vs FEC hearings underway in the Koch’d-up SCOTUS, they were able to recruit Michael Bloomberg aboard to advise on a new strategy. Gates and Bloomberg have old ties. In 1999 the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health was installed at The Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Partnering on initiatives like combating tobacco in 2008, Bloomberg’s continued support of The Foundation made him an easy shoe-in for what would become The Giving Pledge. Having stood as the “Republican” mayor of NYC since 2001 Bloomberg abandoned the party back in 2007. His New York political ties and media assets were surely welcome additions. Expecting Obama’s popularity to retain incumbency, it was time to look forward to 2016 and an alternative method: False Flag Candidacy.
If one were to attempt to defame the opposition, how would you go about doing so from the inside? What would be the ideal situation for a false flag candidate? You would need someone who could give you the following:
– Brand-name recognition (early easy polling)
– Financial means enough to combat Koch-handout candidates
– A history of voting Republican (recognizable conservatism)
– The ability to energize supporters to action (strong public speaking)
– Enough media attention to combat the inevitable dismissal by Fox News
Donald Trump not only qualifies for the above, but he’s also thrown the left two MASSIVE gifts by:
– Angering the opposition into vocal action beyond what the status quo candidates would normally push (even to an international level)
– Suggesting a 3rd-party run if the GOP continues to oppose him.
So how did Trump get involved? Despite acknowledgement of Trump’s base, Buffett’s direct ties to the candidate aren’t significant (though it’s great to hear his commentary on the entertainment value). Similar story with Gates. So if a connection to the Clintons seems too obvious, then maybe a casual golf companion like Michael Bloomberg seems more appropriate.
(Photo: July 14, 2008: Joe Torre’s Safe At Home Foundation Golf Classic
But why would Trump agree to run for The Giving Pledge + Clintons? Do we really need a reason beyond the attention? He’s now the star of the greatest reality television show ever!
Yet hidden beneath his recent inflammatory rhetoric and xenophobic bullshit lies a single principal: separation of big money from politics. Trump’s been steadfast with this idea since his announcement and his ability to self-finance stands as a monument to the power of one individual’s influence over political system. Perhaps Trump’s also realized that all of the money and attention in the world is meaningless if he does nothing remarkable with it.
“But what about his loyalty pledge to the RNC?” Pffffftt! You think that would stop The Don from doing whatever the hell he wants? Last week’s shots back at Paul Ryan speak volumes. His continued pledge during the last night’s debate really wasn’t very credible as he demands to still be treated fairly by Reince Priebus and GOP leadership.
Most likely scenario? I’m just totally wrong here. Trump really is just a rogue Republican who loves the popularity currently being showered upon him from the likes of Murdoch, Bloomberg, Ted Turner, and all of our social media.
Capitalist theory and physics both tell us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So for every move the Koch/Big Oil think tanks spends towards deregulated anarchy, The Giving Pledge counters with insurance policies like the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.
And the chess game rages on.
Bold Prediction for 11/08/16: Democrats win in landslide following Trump exit’s causing the GOP split. Gives concession speech on behalf of the Great American Party (GAP). Trump invites special guest to say a few words. Ashton Kutcher can be seen pushing a very large sparkling cake to the stage. Taking the mic, “America…you just got PUNK’D!” Fireworks + 1812 overture. Bill Clinton pops out of the cake and gives Trump an ultimate high five. Helicopter carries them away. David and Charles Koch retreat back to their Technodrome to go about their fracking.
Some key events:
–July 5th 1991: Buffett and Gates meet for first time.
–August 2001: Donald Trump registers as a Dem.
-January 22, 2005: Trump wedding. Clintons attend. Hil sits up-front.
–September 25, 2005: John Roberts appointed Supreme Court Justice
–November 14, 2005: Koch Industries’ acquisition of Georgia-Pacific turns it into the largest privately held corporation in the United States with annual sales of $80bill.
–June 25th, 2006: Buffett commits most of his fortune to The Gates Foundation.
–December 16, 2007: Ron Paul fundraiser raises $6mil in 24hrs. The Tea Party is born.
–June 07, 2008: Hillary Clinton ends Presidential bid. Supports Obama.
–August 18, 2008: Citizens United vs FEC Case docketed w/ SCOTUS.
–March 24, 2009: Citizens United vs FEC Argued
–May 5, 2009: Buffett/Gates hold confidential New York meeting with 9 other billionaires to talk “philanthropy.”
–September 2009: Donald Trump re-registers as a Republican.
–September 9, 2009: Citizens United vs FEC Re-argued
–January 21, 2010: Citizens United vs FEC comes to close. Corporate contributions to PACs no longer have limits.
–June 16, 2010: The Giving Pledge announced. Bloomberg joins 08/04.
–November 2, 2010: Election Day.
–March 23, 2011: Trump first speaks as birther.
–April 30, 2011: Obama mocks Trump at White House Correspondents Dinner
–November 06, 2011: Election Day. Kochs spend reported $60mil against Obama
–June 16, 2015: Trump announces candidacy
–November 29, 2015: Key Giving Pledge members announce the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to accelerate clean energy research/production.